A Star Wars Experience Across Generations

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Everyone knows that time travel isn’t possible, yet. Sure, we’ve had plenty of examples on TV, films and books with characters coming and going through the time stream. Einstein even has a theory that proves it is possible but, to this day we just can’t do it. Now, that doesn’t mean a little slice of the past can’t come back to us. It could be through a memory, a feeling or an experience that “takes one back” to that one point in time. I had that experience recently while watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.

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That point for me was seeing Star Wars (back then it wasn’t subtitled “A New Hope”) on the big screen during it’s original release in 1977. At that time, I wasn’t old enough to drive so my father agreed to take me. I can’t remember if he was a big Sci-Fi fan or not, or whether we had popcorn or sneaked candy into the theater, you know, stuff like that. Age does get to you over time but, there is this one moment that has stuck with me all these years. My father was just sitting there watching the movie, not really reacting to anything in particular that I remember until Artoo was ambushed by the Jawas. My dad let out the biggest guffaw when Artoo stood straight up, electricity flowing over him then fell over. That moment has been stuck in my head since. I know he’s not a big Star Wars fan like I am today but sitting in the theater, that day, that moment has stuck with me through the years.

Fast forward from 1977 to today. Here I am a father of two, a daughter and a son. My son is just like me, a big Star Wars fan. He wasn’t around for “The Phantom Menace” and was too young for Clones and Sith. Oh, he has seen them through the years (along with “Fanboys”) but only on DVD/BluRay. We enjoyed “The Clones Wars” animated series together and today we sit and watch “Star Wars Rebels”. We did go to the theater for “The Clone Wars” movie but it just wasn’t the same for me as it was in 1977. It didn’t have the same feeling as when I originally saw Star Wars with my dad. Sure, it was “Star Wars” but it wasn’t Star Wars.

December 17th, 2015 “felt” like I was transported back to 1977 but this time the roles were reversed. I was the one who brought his son to see Star Wars. I was the one sitting there feeling nostalgic watching this movie that crossed the generations from mine to his, and to some degree my father before me. It gave me that feeling of sitting in the theater with my dad all over again. I know I laughed more during “The Force Awakens” then my father did during “Star Wars”. I also know my dad and I never fist bumped like my son and I did when the lights went down. It was fun to experience this movie as if time did turn back so I could be that kid again. But, this time there was a reflection of myself seated next to me. If there was one thing missing from all this, it would have been my father watching it with us. Three generations sitting together enjoying “The Force Awakens”. Travel and distance couldn’t have made this a reality but it couldn’t stop the nostalgia factor between a father and a son.

~ Tom Christopher

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